Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer are joined by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Steve Baker, Lord Digby Jones and businessman Richard Reed.
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George Osborne called it a "major success".
Google say they're paying what's due, but Shadow Chancellor John
We'll ask him how he'd get big business to pay more tax.
David Cameron says he wants an emergency brake on access
to welfare benefits for EU migrants to be applied immediately
But will that be enough for the PM to clinch a deal and head
And will it be best for business if we stay in or we get out?
We'll examine the claim and counter claim and bring the two sides
And coming up on Sunday Politics Scotland:
As Labour's new leadership fights its first election,
its prospective candidates are battling to get
And taking time out from their protracted negotiations
with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs over how much tax
they should pay on their enormous fees - the best and the brightest
political panel in the business - Nick Watt, Polly Toynbee
and Janan Ganesh who'll be tweeting throughout the programme.
First this morning, George Osborne hailed Google's back tax bill
Since then the settlement's been condemned as too lenient by -
among others - Boris Johnson, The Sun, Rupert Murdoch
and the Labour Party, which has accused the Chancellor
of offering the internet giant "mates' rates".
In a moment, I'll be talking to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
First here's Google executive, Peter Barron, defending the company
on the Andrew Marr Show this morning.
What I would say is that in the UK we pay corporation tax at 20%.
It's absolutely the same corporation tax rate as everybody else,
Yes, but you keep coming back to this point about sales.
We are taxed as corporation tax dictates on the activities,
the economic activities of Google UK.
So, we pay corporation tax in the UK at 20%,
and, actually, globally, our effective tax rate over the last
five years or so is round about 20%, which is very close to the UK rate,
And I'm joined now by the Shadow Chancellor,
Welcome. What single step would you take to make sure that companies
like Google, Apple, Amazon, pay a fair and appropriate level of tax?
Openness and transparency. I want the information about how this deal
has been arrived at and I want them to publish in the future there tax
records. So that we can have openness and transparency, see what
is fair. The Chancellor said this was a major success. But we cannot
tell because we have not got the information. Would you extend that
to British major companies publishing their tax? Six out of ten
of the UK's biggest companies are not paying any corporation tax. Yes,
I would. The suggestion has been put forward about the FTSE 100. That is
a good idea. There would be no commercial disadvantage. Do you
think that transparency would be a major step forward? It is one step
forward. We want country by country reporting as well. I supported
George Osborne on as negotiations in Europe with that. We're not going to
get enough. I found quite angry making this morning that we have
allegation -- allegations that their Conservatives were voting their MEPs
to vote against this. I find that frustrating. I want HMRC to be
properly resourced so they can do the job. There are too many job
cuts. We have lost too much expertise. There is time now to
start thinking about how we review our tax system. The Treasury select
committee has undertaken a review. Corporation tax is levied on
profits. Even if you got your transparency, you would quickly find
that the concept of profits that can be moved around geographically, they
can be manipulated depending on costs, would you consider replacing
corporation tax with, for example, a tax on corporate sales? Revenues are
less malleable than profits. That is one of the issues to be addressed.
Nigel Lawson has done an article to that effect. One of the most
important things is to secure international agreement. We cannot
have the situation where companies are shopping around the world to
find the lowest tax regime and inventing company structures to
enable that to happen. But if you had a tax on the revenues, it would
not happen what they moved around. Revenues are revenues. You would
levy a tax on the revenues in the UK. That is why it is worth looking
at. It might be a combination of that and economic activity as well.
One professor said if you raise corporate taxes too high, companies
may move to island macro or elsewhere. Do you accept there has
to be a limit? There has to be a limit, there has to be some
reasonableness. If we can get international cooperation, you can
avoid this development of virtual tax havens taking place. Would you
want a common rate of corporation tax? Not necessarily. You would like
to make sure that what you charge is reasonable and fair and you would
expect those companies to abide by that. I listened to the Google
representative this morning. The reputational damage to Google is
immense. The savings they have made in taxes not worth the reputational
damage. Let's move on to the other big issue, Europe. And membership.
How did you vote in the 1975 referendum? Against. In the 1983
Labour manifesto it claimed that a commitment to radical socialist
policies was incompatible with membership of the European Union. It
proposed withdrawal. Did you agree with that at the time? I did at the
time. That is long gone. We're within Europe. We are working within
Europe with other parties to see how we can make Europe fair,
particularly with regard to the rights of workers. Take this tax
issue. We need to be in Europe to ensure we can secure fair agreement
on tax. That is why, by remaining within, we have got to remain within
with their own reform agenda, that is one of the issues we need to
reform. To take that phrase radical socialist policies, you are
committed to radical socialist policies. How is that now compatible
with remaining in the EU when it was not in 1983? Because we have
demonstrated with the work we have undertaken within the EU that we
have secured some benefits. Employment rights. In addition,
there are real opportunities now where we can work with others to
secure that radical change. Withdrawal from Europe at the moment
would not be beneficial. It would lose jobs. It would undermine the
benefits we have gained in terms of employment. That is why we want to
work to reform it. The issue that I have got with the Prime Minister, we
will see what he comes back with... On the social Europe issue, you want
a more social Europe. In France you have got a socialist government that
has moved to the right. In Germany, a centre-right government. Other
countries have a centre-right government. Other
in power or the hard right at the top of the polls. Where is your
social Europe in that? That is why we will work with socialist and
social Democrats. I think you will see in the coming years that a wider
debate is taking place. In some way the referendum debate will enable us
to then look at those ideas. Wouldn't it be fair to say that like
Jeremy Corbyn, you are pretty lukewarm about our membership of the
European Union? I signed up to remain within the EU. That does not
mean to say that we accepted as a perfect institution. We want to see
reform. I come back to the tax issue. Unless we get international
cooperation, particularly across Europe, we will not solve this
problem. You have got a Eurosceptic track record. Kate Hoey, a leader --
leading Labour Eurosceptic, she said that you and Jeremy Corbyn
consistently voted with Eurosceptic MPs on the EU. That is true, isn't
it? On a number of issues, because we were frustrated with the slow
pace of reform. That does not mean we are in favour of coming out. It
is better to argue from within to secure a commonality of agreement.
Do you broadly support the changes that David Cameron is trying to
renegotiate? I don't know what they are yet. Let's see what he comes
back with. My fear is if he does not treat this issue seriously and it is
just about party management, he could blow it. We could be outside
of Europe and have the economic penalties as a result. Even if he
comes back with something you do not regard as satisfactory, you will
campaign to stay in? We will campaign for our own agenda. The
government wants to get this done by the end of June. Will you cooperate
with that timetable? We will see what he comes back with. Let's have
it as soon as possible. We want the debate to take place. Delaying it
would not help. We want the debate to start now. It would be better for
him to come back fairly soon. Get the debate going. Even if the
campaign overlaps with important elections in Scotland, England,
Northern Ireland, Wales? That is the problem but it will overlap with
something. Immigration is good to be a huge issue. The IMF says that
almost 4 million immigrants will arrive in the EU between 2015 and
2017. Almost 4 million. Should Britain take a fair share of that? I
think is important we cooperate with our European partners to make that
we can accommodate those that need to come to this country. In
addition, that we have systems in place that protect wages, so that
immigration is not used to undermine wages. But should we take a fair
share of the 4 million? I think we should. We should cooperate with
others and carry the burden. The majority of Britons want us to rise
to it and ensure we assist others and that others are not suffering,
and that we do not stand on one side when people suffer. Could you give
an indication of how many? Young not at this stage. That would be a
matter to negotiate with our European partners. Should we
volunteered to be part of the EU quotas system? Mrs Merkel and others
want 160,000 to be relocated through Schengen. Should we be part of
Schengen? Should we be part of the 160,000? We should be doing more in
terms of assisting refugees coming from Syria. We should be doing more
to help those in desperate need. People are drowning in the
Mediterranean. We cannot stand aside. This country has a history of
receiving refugees. People watching this would want some sort of idea of
numbers because numbers are important. It is important. That is
why we need to get into these negotiations quickly and come back
with practical proposals. In 2013 you told a gathering of the people's
assembly at a rally on immigration that they should be open borders? I
was arguing then... There was re-search looking at the long-term
structure of the globe. Inevitably in this century we will have open
borders. The movement of peoples across the globe will mean that
borders will almost become irrelevant by the end of the
century. We should be preparing for that and explaining why people move.
Conflicts, poverty and destitution, and also climate change. In our
policy-making we should be working now to see how we address that. It
will mean that we need to look at how we resolve conflicts, how we
make the world more equal and also how we tackle climate change. In
that way we can deal with the reality of the world, which means
that people are not forced to move but there will be movement. Total
open borders? At the end of this century that is what will occur.
People are ignoring borders already as they fly from Syria. We should be
making sure that if there is no forced movement, we look at the push
and pull factors. Conflict prevention, the tackling of
inequality and policies that tackle climate change. In that way we can
cope with the global pressures with regard to population movement. To do
that, for a Labour government to prepare for that, would be loosening
controls as you move towards that? No. What I am saying is if you look
at the analysis of what is happening over the next 75 years, the movement
of people is such that borders are very difficult to maintain. That
will happen by the end of the century. We should be opening up the
debate of how we handle that. One of the issues we have to tackle is why
people are moving. It is about conflict and climate change. It is
about poverty as well. That means greater equality not just in our
country but across the globe. I wanted to talk to you about Google
and the EU. I hope you will come back and give me an interview on
economic policy. Let me finish with a taster? Back to Professor
Blanchflower, he said about you and Mr Corbyn that you have to accept
the realities of capitalism and modern markets, like it or not. No
more silly stuff about companies not being able to pay dividends if they
do not do X or Y. Do you accept that? That is why I appointed him as
an advisor. I wanted objective advice. I have established the
architecture for the future development of economic policy.
Are you going to accept his advice on that? We will listen to his
advice and take it on board. But we will also listen to other advisers.
But those advisers, what's the point of them if you will not listen? We
will test every policy we put forward. On that one, we are hoping
that we would avoid any need for that by introducing as we come into
covenant a real living wage. In the meantime, we want to campaign with
shareholders so they pressurise their companies to abide by a real
living wage. I think there is an alliance to be built there. Is it
party policy that if companies don't pay what you regard as a living
wage, until it's made mandatory, that they shouldn't be allowed to
pay dividends? it's one of ideas we have floated for discussion. We have
put it to the economic advisers to get their view. Angela Eagle said
it's unworkable. That's why it's open for discussion. It's a really
good campaigning tool for us to work with shareholders to make sure they
exert their influence to ensure their companies, on things like the
living wage and paying their taxes as well, to make sure their
companies are acting appropriately. John McDonnell, I hope you come back
to continue the debate with us. I certainly well.
So, David Cameron once dismissed the idea of an emergency
This morning, Downing Street is indicating that a brake
on welfare benefits for EU migrants might be acceptable
if it was applied immediately, but only as a stop-gap measure.
This evening, the Prime Minister meets EU Council President Donald
Tusk as he tries to broker a deal ahead of a crunch summit of European
leaders next month - but will the fractious leave
campaigns be in any position to take advantage if he's seen to fail?
Right now the future of Britain inside or outside the European Union
You might think it started here in Brussels, or that the media's
massed ranks are awaiting the outcome in the European
This week the decision was made in Havering, in Essex.
In this chamber right now, Havering councillors are debating
We will, when the referendum comes. will change, because the smart among
Nevertheless Havering Council deliberately didn't deliberate
on the leisure centre or meals on wheels.
However the Prime Minister meanwhile was hurrying for a deal on wheels -
It's his plan to block in-work benefits for EU migrants for four
years that's getting the bumpiest ride.
The EU counter proposal of an an "emergency brake" on access
to benefits - if a country can prove it's welfare system's under strain -
has not gone down well with Eurosceptics back home.
They are saying we are allowed to go to Brussels,
and ask their permission to change the benefit rules,
David Cameron still wants that benefit ban, and knows accepting
the emergency brake as is would only accelerate any campaign to leave.
We want to end the idea of something for nothing.
It's not good enough, it needs more work,
I believe we've got to put country before party,
country before personality, vote for freedom, and vote for leave.
In Havering they aren't waiting for a date or a settlement.
The Prime Minster knows Brexit supporters are eyeing his own
Cabinet to see who might be tempted do the same.
Michael Gove might come out for leave.
Boris Johnson, though it's rather doubtful,
might just possibly come out for leave, to vote for leave.
Theresa May, who almost certainly is preoccupied
And finally, Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary,
who has the most Eurosceptic record of all.
But it's very difficult, when you are a government minister,
and you've got real feelings of loyalty to your party
and your Prime Minister, to depart from the line.
And a lot of pressure, moral pressure, if you like,
A Havering Borough MP thinks that kind of pressure is wrong.
I think that this is a decision that we all have to make
And it shouldn't impede on people's political careers.
People should be able to make up their own minds,
and not worry about whether they are going to be sidelined or punished
Those who do out themselves for out, will need campaign wizards who can
Which, of two battling groups, that is yet undecided,
but so far both have seen a bad spell of personality clashes
and darkening moods way over the heads of most grassroots
The chance of winning over undeclared MPs is the magic
What we did discover, it's like the dementors slowly
sucking the people up out of the air, body
I do think that there will be a coming together now,
probably for very good reasons, there have been divisions
But I think this campaign will not be just politicians.
It's about the people versus the elite in many ways.
In fact, you have a referendum really in many ways when politicians
Meanwhile back in Havering... is they want to do.
party motion is therefore carried by 30 votes to 15.
So, councillors in Havering have voted for a motion that says
Now, there are plenty of councillors who said they don't have any
business debating this, they have far more important things
But what it might show is that for some people -
and in this case, an official elected body -
never mind what the date is, and never mind the renegotiation,
they would like to make clear their views right now.
I'm joined now by the Conservative MP, Steve Baker, co-chairman
of Conservatives for Britain and a director of the Vote Leave
If the Prime Minister can get an agreement that there will be a break
in welfare payments for migrants the day after the referendum, isn't that
a powerful thing to take to the country? It's not powerful at all.
Bernard Jenkin is the Conservative director of Vote Leave, but we have
been told by the OBR that it wouldn't make much difference even
if the Prime Minister got this break. They would only take one case
brought forward by activist lawyers, and we would expect the European
Court of Justice to strike down such a measure. We think it's a red
herring, and as John Redwood said, a bad joke. They have ended up trying
to manufacture the appearance of success out of very little. As
things stand at the moment, there's nothing the Prime Minister would
bring back that would make you want to stay in? I've been clear through
the whole period that most of us want to end the supremacy of the EU
in the UK. Make our own laws in Parliament. The prime ministers had
something similar about the European Court of Human Rights. Demanding an
opt out from the charter is subbing the Prime Minister has had to give
up. So money inconsistencies. The answer is no. I expect a good number
of colleagues to join me and campaign to leave at this stage. How
many Tory MPs will campaign for out? Of the 150 on the list who have
expressed interest, and about a fifth have made up their minds, I
think about 50-70. No more than 50 or 70 Tory MPs campaigning on your
side of the referendum to leave? That would be my expectation at this
stage. John McDonnell said he wanted to get this out of the wear it, the
referendum. Didn't sound to me like Labour would join with the SNP on
delaying tactics for the referendum. Would you like the referendum to be
later? Realistically we are campaigning out to leave the EU and
we have secured our objectives for the campaign. But there is a good
case to be made that a June date would trust us. There are elections
in neigh, and I think there's a good case for a delay until September. I
would prefer the government brought forward a measure that went through
the Commons without a row, but if Labour and the SNP and conservative
colleagues wish to put something through, then we will be able to
what's the biggest beach from the -- beast on the cabinet you would like
to get? I haven't ruled anybody out. But I'm happy to go into the
campaign without any Cabinet big beasts. It would be surprised this
point if Chris Grayling didn't join us. He would count as a big beast,
leader of the house. People know which Cabinet members are discussed.
Theresa May? She made a speech on immigration which would be difficult
to recalibrate with the EU. It's a matter for her. You've given up on
Bryce Johnson? He occasionally flirts with it in the press. But
he's a typical conservative, he loves Europe, he would like Europe
to be different, but we'll see what he does when the comes. The
different leave campaigns, it's flawed with blood, when will you
stop knocking lumps out of each other? I'm not knocking lumps out of
anybody and I regret this week that we've had distractions from the core
aim of leaving the EU and I regret they have got their way to the
press. Everybody involved needs to reach a resolution, everybody
involved wants to move on and I hope we do so quickly, let's fight a
winning campaign. You are not the director of Vote Leave but you are
on the Parliamentary planning committee for Vote Leave, so you are
associated. Did you agree with the attempts to get rid of the two
full-time people running it, Dominic Cummings and Matthew Elliott? This
is a matter for the board. Do you agree with whether they should have
gone? At this stage it's very late in the day to make such a profound
change. But given the severe concerns of my colleagues, it is
clear there will have to be material changes in Vote Leave in order to
carry parliamentarians with the campaign. What this material change
mean? There has to be a greater degree of involvement with planetary
and so they think they are shaping the campaign to win over those
voters we need. Will there be a merger in the end? Surely that's
what all of you need, you are up against the government, is huge
machine, don't you need to be united? It's a David and Goliath
battle and we need to be united. The process of unity will come through
designation. Realistically, leave. EU is looking at the Courville,
where as Vote Leave knows we need the swing vote. -- looking at the
core vote. I'm confident that Vote Leave can and will win the
referendum. I wouldn't give away the mop in case there is more blood to
referendum. I wouldn't give away the wipe up.
One of David Cameron's four key demands in his EU
renegotiation concerns competitiveness.
The Prime Minister says the burden of regulation on businesses is too
high, and that the EU needs to strengthen the single market
and accelerate trade agreements with America and China.
Arguments about the economic costs or benefits of membership will form
a large part of the referendum campaign, with both sides keen
Those campaigning to remain within the EU say our membership
is worth ?3000 to every household in Britain.
It's based on a CBI claim that the UK's economy is 5% bigger
They also claim that 3 million jobs are linked
to trade within the EU, that 45% of UK exports of goods
and services go to the EU, and that the value of
trade with the EU is ?133 billion higher than it would be if we left.
Those who argue we would be better off if we left claim that
regulations imposed on business by the EU cost over
They say the 3 million figure on jobs is
dependent on trade with the EU, not membership.
They argue that the trade would continue if we voted to leave,
because we currently import more than we export from the EU.
So its members would want free trade to remain.
They further point out that the importance of UK trade
They cite ONS figures showing that the proportion
of UK exports heading for the EU fell from 54.8% in 1999
But an analysis by the House of Commons Library in 2013
of numerous studies into the economic
impact of EU membership found no consensus either way,
So, which side will manage to convince voters?
I'm joined now by the former trade minister Digby Jones
and Richard Reed, who founded Innocent Smoothies,
who is campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU.
Welcome. Digby Jones, the EU accounts for 45% of our exports. Why
would you risk any of that? That will not change. Because in the
morning after any referendum result, Germany, it is pivotal on Germany,
would immediately want some form of tariff free arrangement with
Britain. They make a million cars they sell in Britain a year. 75 to
80% of all the trains in this country are built in Dusseldorf. We
do not know for sure? No. Germany does it and the others follow. There
are many arguments to stay in. But the one thing we should kill now is
that not one job in Britain is at risk because of EU membership. Not
one. There would be a free-trade agreement because we are so
important to Europe. And by the way that does not mean there are not
other reasons why not -- why we might not want to be in or out. I
get so frustrated when people talk about jobs at risk. It is rubbish.
That is very easy thing to call total nonsense. It is clear that if
your biggest market is suddenly interfered with, that it will not
somehow affect trade, does not make sense. You know more than most
people that businesses need certainty. What we have right now is
unfettered access to the largest market in the world. The fact that
we want to start playing around with this and that is good for business,
it does not make sense. I do not see the added value in belonging to a
club that fetters small businesses in this country every day.
Would you want to have a shop that had 60 people or 500 people walk by?
You can achieve that from a free-trade agreement. Which we have.
You get the sales prevention team in Brussels. They are trying to say
this is how you will live your life, small business in Hartlepool. And by
the way, the same rules will apply to 520 million people, but we all
know that southern Europe, compliance is a voluntary event. We
know that the French do not obey these rules and then what happens is
that we in northern Europe, we are by no means the best, Scandinavia is
better than us, we will be the stuff and baseball business which does not
have or be assisting in Brussels arguing the case... And you know
this small businesses. Let Richard comeback. Britain loves
a bit of regulation, you are quite correct. If we were to come out and
UCB will still a treat, we will have to comply with the regulation
because that is the conditions of the free trade, so we will not avoid
the regulation. It is their father we are in or out. But if we are in,
we get to have our voice heard. You tell that to all of the money men in
the city that have seen Brussels hammer down with regulation. You see
how bad it gets. You see how bad it gets when we are
not there at the big table where the decisions get made. We are one of
the three big forces in Europe. We are one of the three biggest
economies in Europe. In fact... Digby Jones, it seems
that you assume we will still have unfettered access to the single
market. It has been pointed out by Stephen -- Mr Reid that the
conditions of the single market could lead to other costs, for
example the free movement of people could be a problem. It would not
change things. Let us explore that because I am
very concerned that this referendum will become a referendum Trulli on
immigration allowed in the street. When they ought to be discussing how
can European Union reform improve the life of an unemployed
25-year-old in Madrid and a single mother in Athens? How can economic
power and otherwise, business, how can it be seen as a driver to get
the standard of living up? Have you be sure economy on exporting olives
and BMWs, you will go bust. They're asking you to subsidise the growth
of all those in the hope that for some reason unskilled people in
southern Europe will do this. From migration, Andrew, give or get
unskilled people in Europe coming to rich countries instead of getting
skilled people in Europe being marketable in northern Europe and
you can only pull that off with reform.
But if we are not in Europe we cannot do the reform.
We must not campaign to stop these people coming, we must campaign to
get the skills base of Europe up so that they get wealthier and more
importantly they are more marketable in our markets.
The British government has enough trouble getting the skills base
right in Britain never mind in southern Europe. But if we are out
we do not reform. Richard, you have said that inside the club we can
influence the rules. Hold on, let me put the question. The British have
been on the wrong end of EU majorities on these rules more than
any other country that is a member of the EU. We rarely get our way on
these things. Are you joking? We have the best
possible setup. We are part of the EU, we said no to the euro, we said
no to Schengen, we said no to forced my greater rate targets.
So why do we have so many majority votes?
This is a once in a generation decision, we have to get it right.
The big picture is this, it is a causal opportunity to be part of
Europe and we have the best version of the deal.
Richard, when you and I, years ago, I was at the CBI, we were arguing
cases about should be join or not the euro. I can remember sitting in
television students and been told the world would end. The sun would
not rise in the morning and we would go to Armageddon and bag if we did
not join the euro. We made the right decision about the
euro... The world is not about to end but this interview has come to
an end. Thank you both and this debate will continue. You are
watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland to
Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.
As Labour's new leadership fights its first election,
we'll ask its deputy leader about the battle to get
And here is the deal, inside. I can show you.
Is it possible that Labour - once the predominant force
in Scottish politics - might have to rely on the regional
list to get any MSPs at Holyrood after May's election?
A reminder: The list was put into place in the Scottish Parliament
to make it more proportional and, bluntly, to stop any one party
getting an overall majority - a provision which the SNP
If the polls are to be trusted, they could well do so again.
A ballot of Labour members, which decides who gets
onto the party's list and, crucially, who gets to the top
And we'll get the results at the end of the week.
They sing it with conviction. But the tide of history seems to be
against them. The SNP have achieved what the polls
predicted and more and hold more seats than any other party, a dream
of a night for them. But it has been a disastrous nightmare for the
Labour Party and the Lib Dems... Poll suggested that after losing all
but one Westminster MP at the general election...
We almost broke the swingometer with the result from Scotland. The Labour
Party may be about to lose all of their constituency MSPs at Holyrood.
We have seen that in polling for quite some time now that the
Scottish Labour Party are going to be reliant upon the regional list,
which is really astounding for a party which at one point in Scotland
was in government at every level. So, spin that is good news then. It
is not about trying to find a silver lining, it is about getting the
Scottish Labour Party back on its feet and providing the electorate
with a choice. The Scottish Labour Party had the belief for frankly far
too long that it had a right to rule. What the electorate has very
kindly demonstrated to the Scottish Labour Party is that that idea is
nonsense. We have a project here and it might
be that the people we elect in the month of May will be part of a
2-term project, where we get new people in now and they are maybe not
the finished article but it is people that the public can start to
grow and feel that these are people who are standing up for us in our
communities and across the region. That means seeing the Ann Sable,
about seeing who is responsible. There is a lot of dead wood in the
Labour Scottish Parliament. The voters are very clear. Labour has
not cut the mustard and there is no point in Labour politicians docking
this fact. We have had too many people historically at all levels of
party representation, at council level, at Scottish Parliament and at
Westminster who were simply not up to the job.
The Dutch elm disease taught us there is only one thing to do with
dead wood and perhaps Scottish Labour needs to learn that its new
rule is making the best of opposition.
What frustrates me when I watch First Minister's Questions and not
many people do, you know, we have MSPs in the Parliament who do not
really hold the government to account and I include SNP MSPs in
that, you do not see scrutiny in the committees and often you see that in
the House of Commons happen a bit better than it does here. So it is
about holding the government to account but it is also about coming
up with fresh ideas. So is there a grand plan behind all
of this? Something to rebuild trust and turn Scottish Labour once more
into a government in waiting? To the outside observer I think it
is very difficult to see what that plan is. Nothing is changing,
nothing is changing the polls. EC SNP dominance and have done for many
months. There does not seem to be any clearer way back for the Labour
Party at the moment. We's new leader and her deputy are
the only two people guaranteed a place on the party's regional list.
The question is, while the ballot of members deliver the fresh faces who
Huw Williams there. might start
Well, I'm joined now by the Deputy Leader
What do you make of what Thomas Docherty was telling us? He said
that quite a lot of the people he had seen represent Labour put until
now have not been up to the job? I think I look at things
differently. I think that Westminster politics, for example,
were completely out of touch with the reality of the everyday lives of
people. I think Labour paid the price for that. In all walks of
government there will be different people giving different things and
bringing different experience is to the Parliament. It is the same in
local government. People will bring different experiences.
In the last Scottish elections, you know that you got more people in
that you did not expect because of the rare that it went, you got more
on the list and your constituencies. Presumably there was some Deadwood.
That is the long-term. Kezia Dugdale has done since becoming leader, is
that we have opened up the party and part of that process has been that
we have opened up this election from the lists and that is why we have
gone through this process. That has resulted in a lot of new people
coming forward and that should be welcomed. At the end of the day, the
Labour Party itself must be in touch with the communities it seeks to
serve, it must be able to demonstrate that it knows what the
big priorities are, so it needs to have the policies, and needs to be
clear what it stands for. I think we lost all of that in the last eight
years, perhaps longer and we paid the price for that.
You lost any sense of the relatively of...
The sense of direction, actually what it was that Labour stood for.
So we have to restate that and set out what our vision is. We have to
set out our policies in terms of delivering that vision. If you look
at the reality of everyday life, in my constituency there are major
issues, people are struggling to get GP appointments, people are
struggling to get through A, struggling to get housing, the
basics in life. Their budgets and schools are being cut, these are the
everyday issues that people are dealing with.
I remember Kezia Dugdale telling us she wanted to see new faces in the
Scottish Parliament, people who have perhaps not even been in the Labour
Party at the time of the last election. Given the
number of people you have fighting to get onto these top list places,
realistically, will be see any of these new faces?
Two points. The first one Kezia made was that you will not change this
overnight. It will take time. We are here for the long haul. She is in it
for the long haul. But will we see these new faces in
this election? Many have come forward.
But will we see any of them at the top? Would you like to see them?
I think there will be new faces but they are in the hands of our
membership. Would you like new members in?
Yes, but at least hustings meetings there have been new faces and
experience. But would you like people to vote?
Are you telling us you would like people to vote for not Mrs Ali
people who were not in the Labour Party but not Mrs Ali... You would
like people not to vote for the current plot in Parliament?
I would like for people to listen to what is being said and vote for them
accordingly. Every Labour Party member has evoked. If you look back
to fifth, for example in 2012, new people came and that had not been in
longer than a matter of weeks. From the outside it appears that
there is this massive scramble going on by existing politicians because
you know you will lose constituency seats and they want the list. You,
yourself, you said when you were standing for the get good leadership
that you would not take up the right to be at the top of the list and yet
here you are at the top of the list, why did you do that?
We are going to fight for every vote but we are being realistic. We know
where the polls are at. Our job between now and the election is to
set out a progressive agenda and demonstrate because I was not good
to spend the most of the last few months trying to fight for a list
seat when I needed to be doing my job as Deputy Leader and that is why
I changed my light -- changed my mind.
The implication is that you have no confidence in yourself to win your
constituency. I am fighting hard to win my
constituency as we are across Scotland. Realistically we know
where the polls are, we know that there is a mountain to climb but we
are confident that if we can setup a much clearer vision for the Labour
Party in Scotland and set out a vision for the future of Scotland...
Labour is the only party in Scotland are doing for change, we are arguing
for change in the way that we do the powers that we have and how we will
use the powers that are coming to the Scottish
Parliament. You clearly don't think you are
going to win your own seat. Not true. Why are you on the top of the
regional list? Realistic discord for we are going to lose? We know that
it would be difficult to hold onto first past the post seats. We have
to set out our agenda and policies and we will work hard for every
vote. We will give people a reason to vote for the Labour Party and to
trust us once again. That is our objective. Lastly, you
talk about new Labour and a new image. The only thing you have, with
recently or the main thing, is a plan to give money to first-time
buyers, this is money that was previously hypothecated to help
people who were suffering from the cuts to the working benefits. Is
that a policy you are enthused about?
We seek to build 45,000 council houses. That is significant.
Hand-outs to first-time buyers? We have a housing crisis in
Scotland. We have made it clear we want are injured the living wage
across the social sector. For all those people working in home care on
the minimum wage, the living wage, believe me, will make a difference.
We have been clear that we must invest in jobs.
Do you agree with the first-time buyer policy?
That will give people the opportunity. Yes, I do agree with
that. But moreover I agree with balding 45,000 council houses in
Scotland that are desperately needed.
Alex Rowley, we will have to be put there. Thank you for coming in.
David Cameron's efforts to redraw the UK's relationship
He's hosting the president of the European Council,
And he does so in the week that the former prime minister,
Tony Blair, predicted that if the UK votes to leave the EU,
A senior EU commissioner has told the Sunday Politics that Scotland
should not have to choose between membership of the UK
Our political correspondent, Glenn Campbell, is just back
Version when David Cameron has been to Brussels, bringing home a box of
Belgium chocolates is not nearly enough. He wants new terms for UK
membership of the EU and after this week's talks with the European
Commission President a deal seems closer. There is a proposal on the
table. It is not good enough and it needs more work but we are making
progress. No bargain will satisfy Nigel Farage. He wants the UK out of
the EU. An independent United Kingdom that makes its own laws, but
takes back a fishing limit in Scotland that would bring thousands
of jobs. This is a UK wide opportunity to become an
independent, sovereign nation again. At the European Commission, top
officials warned the UK against self exclusion. You will lose more than
you gain. I think it would be best if he concentrates to make sure the
UK, a ball of the member of the family, stays in the family. Which
may defer questions about Scotland's future. We make every effort for the
Scottish people not to have to face a choice between Britain and the EU.
That is not a choice that you would like to face. She was speaking after
Tony Blair told French radio that if the UK votes to leave Europe
Scotland will go to leave the UK. Tony Blair finds himself in a
curious agreement with the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who has
argued that if the UK was to vote to leave and Scotland voted to stay in,
then the clamour for another referendum on Scottish independence
may be unstoppable. I think this is another scare tactic. If we vote to
leave the EU, the United Kingdom will break up and we will all live
in poverty. We have heard this before and it will not work. If
David Cameron's next get-together with other EU leaders instead they
result in a deal he could call the EU vote as early as June. This
former Belgian Prime Minister is watching our debate closely. He
wants the UK vote sooner rather than later, but he is worried that the
momentum may be with the campaign to leave. At the moment the campaign
around Britain is about leaving the EU, it is saying the European Union
does not work very well and we have a number of requests and if they are
not fulfilled then we are going to vote no. My only fear is that it has
become a self-fulfilling prophecy. David Cameron hopes to argue for the
UK to remain in a reformed EU if he can get the turns. He continues the
negotiation today with Donald past who acts as a go-between with other
EU leaders. -- Donald Tusk. A little earlier I spoke
to the Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman, who's
co-chairman of the Conservatives I began by asking him
what he thought of David Cameron's efforts to secure a temporary ban
on the payment of in-work benefits I think the emergency brake proposal
is complete nonsense. We would have to prove to the EU that our public
services were in crisis, GPs and hospitals and schools, and if we're
lucky they would then hold a vote on it and we would need a majority.
That is not control of your own country that is handing it to
Europe. If David Cameron is going to say this is not good enough and he
once more, you sound as if you do not have much faith in that. The
renegotiation process has turned into a sham. It is very trivial. The
renegotiation process has turned British people want control back of
their borders particularly, economic control, democratic control, and
this is not satisfying that need and I think they will vote to leave. You
describe it as a sham. Perhaps a polite word would be theatre. Are
you expecting more of this? I hope I'm not being too cynical, but one
would expect that due to refusals on either side, there may not be a deal
until 4am in the morning. Harold Wilson went through a similar
exercise that fooled the British people in 1975. It was only the
Highlands, Ireland and Scotland that voted not to join the UC. I think
parts of Scotland are very Eurosceptic. -- join the EU. You're
seeing Jim Sillars coming out. The SNP were in favour of leaving the EU
before 1992. The polls up here sure there is a substantial majority for
staying in the EU. I accept that what we have not had a proper debate
yet. We need to see what this package brings out of Brussels. I am
not confident. We wanted to see fundamental change and this is not
fundamental change, but I think this will be closer than people think. As
we know in Scotland, the General Election polls often do not give the
right cancer. One of the criticisms is that people like you will never
change your mind, it does matter what David Cameron. -- do not give
the right cancer. -- cancer. Scotland is the second-largest
contributor to the EU. But my point stands. It does not matter what
David Cameron does, you will always say it is not good enough. We were
looking at fundamental change and this is not fundamental change. If
you offer that to the British people they might vote to stay end. The
only change we are going to get as if we leave the EU. It sounds
dramatic, but we are not. -- it is not. We would get an excellent deal.
You consider yourself a conservative and a unionist. If there is a Safari
no -- if there is a scenario where Scotland votes to stay in the EU and
the rest of the UK votes to leave, that might lead to another
referendum and the break-up of the United Kingdom. It is totally
illogical. If the UK leads the EU and in Scotland votes to stay
outside of both the EU and the UK for years. The British Prime
Minister said there is a long queue to join the EU. There is Serbia,
Turkey, Albania, Scotland will be behind them. I think it would be a
disaster for them. That is an argument, but the least one can say
is that if this scenario comes to pass it will make the United Kingdom
is less stable than it is at the moment. I think it will be more
stable because I think Scotland will be less able and willing to break
away. We could devolve powers now held by the EU back to Scotland,
fishing, farming, parts of trade, tourism, energy and the environment,
a lot of these powers are with the EU and not Westminster. I think the
Scottish people will feel more independent if we left the EU. Thank
you. And I'm joined now from Edinburgh
by the SNP's Europe spokesperson, What about that last point? Is it
slightly odd for a national list to be in favour of staying in the EU?
Alec Salmond always made a big thing about being critical of the fishing
policy and wanting power is repatriated to Scotland. This is
your big chance. He has missed the point little bit on the European
Union because it is the member state that govern what goes on in the
European Union. The European Union could never force Scotland to take
Trident nuclear missiles. He is giving the example of fisheries.
That is one of the pillars of the European Union. You cannot be a
member of the European Union unless you accept the common fisheries
policy. David Cameron ruled out treaty change quite early on and
that is something we might of needed for the fisheries policy. Something
that we will agree on is that this has been a huge missed opportunity
by the Prime Minister to get some real change. No one says that the EU
does not need reformed, we would like to see fisheries and public
health back in Scotland, but he has not taken that opportunity to take
them back. Well vote no and have them back. No, because overall it is
better to be in the European Union. It is good for jobs in the economy
and climate change and security. Your message to fishermen you might
see benefits of repatriated policy to Scotland but in the bigger
picture it does not matter. We would like to be in there trying to reform
it. For example, the Conservatives and others who want to leave often
hauled up the example of Norway. Norway is in a position where it has
no say in the European Union but has to adhere to its rules. The oil and
gas industry in Norway were talking about that recently. I think the
idea that you leave the European Union and is not the case. Norway
does not have to adhere to the common fisheries policy. It does
have to adhere to other issues. Its politicians often complain about
that. If David Cameron had been serious about fisheries and other
issues he would have taken it to the negotiation table but he did not
bother. So your opportunity to get these powers back is to vote no.
Overall we think it is better to be part of the European Union with the
economic benefits it brings and the jobs that it brings. It benefits
small and big business and it is overall better to be part of the
European Union. In Scotland votes yes and the rest of the UK votes no,
as Tony Blair discussed this week, do you think you would have
legitimacy Collin for another independence referendum. I think so.
I put down amendments that were backed by my colleagues to avoid the
situation. We pit down amendments that meant that England, Scotland,
Northern Ireland and Wales would have to vote to leave the European
Union for the vote to be valid, but they were rejected. We might see a
breakdown in what is meant to be a partnership of equals but we did put
down amendments that would have darker David Cameron out of this
hole. The SNP policy is that you should be campaigning to vote yes in
Scotland and hoping desperately that people in England vote no. No, we
want to stay in the European Union and we are campaigning to vote yes.
It was more important than fisheries a moment ago. I put only amendments
to make sure that Scotland could not be taken out the European Union
against its Wales. We pit down those amendments and they were rejected.
It is said picking that they were rejected. In Scotland is taken out
of the European Union against its will, a breakdown in the
relationship of equals. Thank you for joining us this morning.
Liz Lochhead has been Scotland's national poet -
As her time in the role draws to a close today,
she came to the studio to reflect on her time in the role.
I began by asking her if she had enjoyed the role.
Being the Makar? Absolutely, it has been fantastic. It has been
wonderful. I have had a bit of prominence when I'm fading away. You
get after do a lot of things. There have been less gigs turning up as
you hit your 60s. It is just the people that used to invite you along
to the arts centres are now dead. Some people who have been Paul
Lawrie at think it is constraining. Did you expect to turn up in write
an ode to the fiscal framework? It was not like that at all. I was
asked to do poems on particular subjects and sometimes I wrote
things that I would not have written otherwise. I wrote up or you I like
about encouraging people to join the children's panel. It was social
things. I did a poorly for the opening of the last Parliament and
it wasn't the best one I have ever written. I responded to what Edwin
Morgan did for the opening of the Parliament building. It has been
fantastic and it is nice to be invited to do things. I could not
always do it, I could not always right a poor young, but I could
often find a poor young that the suitable from the Scottish or world
canon of poetry. I don't believe you when you say you
are fading. I will not be the national poet of Scotland any more,
someone else will have that honour and able do it in a different way
than I did. Edwin Morgan was the first Makar and it was a lifetime
award to him in his early 80s and it was a recognition of what he had
done. When he died they thought it would be a good idea to appoint
someone every five years. Someone might do a major piece of work and
do less public stuff than I have done. It is very open. The job is to
promote poetry and life in Scotland and that is a great thing to do.
They can ask you, the independence referendum, there was lots of talk
about how terribly important it was artistically. It was.
Then what we? As Scotland's culture suffered from a No vote?
Not because of that but before the referendum people where expressing.
You know, a lot of people in the arts where yes voters and I was
myself, that was not a secret, I was allowed to have my own opinions. I
was not desperately disappointed by the No vote because I had not
expected independence at this time. I was not asking some much about
that, but more the idea that this whole debate about independence.
What about it? People in the artistic world arguing
that independence would be liberating for the arts?
I think it might have been but also not getting independence is also
liberating for the arts because that makes people decide to talk about
what is happening. I do not think it was important in that kind of way. I
do not think being the portal Laureate for Scotland is important
in that party way. The Poet Laureate gives reference to what people say
and how important it is and tells people to listen to what is being
said and judge how important it is. I was called to finish regarding
that. And your considered view, is poetry as important as it has been
in the past in Scotland, more important, less important, are you
optimistic? Of course. I have worked with young
rappers which is also poetry. Poetry is a basic fundamental human rights
of people, that is why we do not rhymes with children and that is why
the balance, the great ballads tell us stories from the past. It is a
basic human instinct like song or dance and for some reason, most
countries seem to point a poet to be a poet. I think there should be a
dancer in residence or the national dance of Scotland and the national
singer of Scotland as well but there is a national and I was very proud
to fulfil that role. As best I could, very imperfectly,
but as best as I could for five years. Liz Lochhead, we'd better let
you get back to your wrapping. Yes! Thank you, Gordon.
I'm joined by the Sunday Herald's investigations editor,
Paul Hutcheon, and by Paul Sinclair, who's a former advisor
What do you think about the state of the Labour Party?
It is in a very difficult situation heading up to this election. Earlier
in the programme I saw Thomas Docherty talking about the dead wood
in the Scottish Labour Party, I think he has a point, there is some
dead wood but the difficulty is not replace it with dead wood that got
cut off in Westminster. What will be interesting when we see these
results of the list elections is how many new people get through.
Alex Rowley seemed to believe and claimed that there would be new
people but then he said it is up to the members to vote on it. Kezia
Dugdale spoke about the sort of phenomenon we have heard from the
SNP, people that have hardly been in the Labour Party for any period of
time and it has been a surge in membership because of Jeremy Corbyn,
will be CNE of them? I understand that Daniel Johnson, a
new figure, is doing well and might come top. At the same time, if we're
going to have a list that means that Scottish Parliament will be blessed
with the bit Oracle skills of David Kelly again, I do not think that is
something that will appeal to the Scottish public and that is
something that the Labour Party needs to do.
I think it is difficult for Kezia Dugdale to make any significant
changes to our group driven that there is a declining vote share. --
given that. She made a mistake allowing all existing MSPs to stand
on the list. Compare that to what Ruth Davidson did, some of her
allies tapped her MSPs on the shoulder and said thank you for your
service but you will not stand again. I think if Kezia Dugdale and
been more brutal, there would be more fresh talent in the group but I
think... You referred to some personalities
there and it is up to the members to decide who they want but there is
all this talk about and we heard from Alex Rowley, new beginnings and
being completely different, he said that in the past Labour had not paid
attention to the working lives of ordinary people. Where is this New
Labour Party and what is it? What it doesn't have, it is the same
problem that Ed Miliband had in the general election, there is not a
simple story for people to understand what is Labour Party
Scotland would look like. Very good party initiatives and they are both
well but nothing compelling to people here. I hear what Paul
Sinclair says about Kezia Dugdale and not being able to open up the
lists, but the problem is the Labour Party is incredibly difficult to
manage and one of the difficulties is, if one of the other candidates
had won the UK readership, I think Kezia Dugdale would have been given
more space to change the party the way that she wanted to.
Unfortunately with Jeremy Corbyn she cannot do that and that is the
difficulty and I think the Labour Party needs to get through this
election and then be serious about reform and reform its system.
Paul Hutcheon, there is no clarity that the image of Scottish Labour is
the same as that of Jeremy Corbyn's? Yes, there is a mismatch, for the
problem is that the Labour Party has, as they did have sensible and
moderate leadership they could possibly put AB back but bear it is
entirely different. If Scottish Labour was led by Barack Obama and a
campaign run by Bill Clinton I think they would still have the same
result in the month of May which is about 20% of the vote and 25 MSPs. I
do not think there is anything she can do in this short space of time.
Why not? When Labour were last in power in Scotland, there was a focus
on bread and butter issues like health and education. The
post-referendum legacy is that there is a correlation between how you
voted in the referendum and how he vote in elections. I think Labour
have been left behind on that. To use a football analogy, they are
playing away from home and struggling to make up ground.
There is a fundamental problem for Labour and that is if you have had
18 years of Tory rule, why did people not vote SNP? It was
essential because the Labour Party at that point was a nationalist
party, it stood up for Scotland and it was about Scotland versus
Westminster and people voted for it and liked it but nobody has started
to vote for the nationals party because it is the real thing. Labour
have to come out with a different story, it has to come out with
something new and at the moment they're thinking is not present.
Europe, Paul Hutcheon. Briefly. Can the know people are pure make a go
of it? I do not think so, the problem they
face is leadership. If you look at the yes Lock, we have four party
leaders but who is going to beat the No vote? Ukip will not provide any
good leadership and I think there is also this cross-party group of
politicians who do not agree on anything.
What about the UK, do you think they are in with a chance?
The big difficulty is that for those who want the UK to remain in Europe,
it is now being framed on what to deal David Cameron gets out of the
EU, that is a huge mistake. Whatever TV gets, even if it is meaningful,
will not be enough for the No vote people. The campaign must be framed
on the principle of being part of the EU and I am frightened that it
is not being framed like that. -- whatever deal he gets.
So you think there is a chance they could win?
I think there is a chance. Thank you for both joining us.
I'll be back at the same time next week.
Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer are joined by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Steve Baker, Lord Digby Jones and businessman Richard Reed. Janan Ganesh, Polly Toynbee and Nick Watt are on the political panel.